The Mercedes team achieved a double in qualifying for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, placing Lewis Hamilton on pole position, the favorite to clinch the title after the last two victories in Brazil and Qatar. In second position he finished Valtteri Bottas, which will serve as a shield for the British to get his third consecutive winner’s trophy.
However, the world leader is still Max Verstappen, who had to settle for third place after making a mistake at the last corner in Jeddah and hitting the wall. Red bull It seemed a bit more hidden during free practice, but were it not for this incident the Dutchman would almost certainly have set the best time.
The boss of the Mercedes team, Toto wolff, spoke about the potential that energy drinks had: “F1 is crazy and full of surprises, they had a very dominant car today. They put the tire in the correct operating window within a single lap, and we it was difficult to have a grip “.
“The pole was lost, but Verstappen hit the wall and we finished with the cars in first and second position, and it is a great advantage for tomorrow,” said Wolff.
Despite the great lap that the championship leader was completing, he missed the great reward on Saturday. The Germans’ manager said teamwork was essential to achieving this small triumph in qualifying.
“It was an important moment to stick together and keep attacking. You can see Valtteri’s lap and the difference there is, but we have put the cars in the front row and I hope we can finish the job tomorrow,” he commented.
“They have focused on the pace on one lap, and that has helped them to manage the tire well, and if tomorrow we have that small advantage, who knows?”, Said the Mercedes boss.
When asked about the possibility of Red Bull appealing the resolution of the investigations to Hamilton (which they will not do as indicated by the Austrian team itself), he said: “Everyone fights, in everything, inside and outside the clue, so I don’t know what chances they have and what the stewards will say, but it is only fair that they do so. “
“We expected to be much stronger, we have a fast car, but, like so many times this season, it should have been our track and we have encountered surprises.”
Wolff believes Red Bull will go all-out in Sunday’s race to maintain their lead over Verstappen in the world championship: “Max has to go all out, and if he finishes third after Turn 1, it will be a huge disadvantage. He has to pass to Valtteri and Lewis. “
Mercedes could be the constructors’ world champion, and it only takes 40 points more than the Milton Keynes cars to celebrate the title: “It would take us to do a double and for them to leave, it could happen, but it is crazy that it happens” .
“To choose the tire, we had a debate, we never put it in the right temperature. However, the energy of the whole team is brutal, and when you walk into the meeting room you don’t even have to speak to feel how excited everyone is. “, he finished.